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FY 2003 Funding Fact Sheet

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Office of the Press Secretary
March 3, 2003
For Immediate Release

In the past two years the President and Congress have nearly doubled the funding for homeland security. This increase in funds has significantly strengthened America's protections against terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security's top priority is getting this money into the system to fund the programs and buy the equipment that will make America safer. These funds will create new capabilities to protect against terrorism in the states and cities throughout our nation, at our borders and in our seaports and airports. This investment improves our ability to prevent a terrorist attack, not just prepare for one.  Following are immediate priorities the Department will fund in 2003.

Border Security

The Department has begun to streamline the inspection activities previously controlled by INS, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Agriculture.  To support this effort, in 2003 the Department will hire approximately 1,700 additional inspectors including:

  • 460 land border ports-of-entry inspector positions focusing on the Ambassador Bridge/Detroit Tunnel and Santa Teresa and Columbus ports-of-entry in New Mexico  
  • 615 airport inspectors and support staff and 85 seaport inspectors and support staff
  • 202 inspectors for Securing the Northern Border and Terrorism Investigations Strategy
  • 270 inspectors for Maritime Port Security Strategy Initiative
  • 104 inspectors for Southwest Border staffing and technology

The 2003 funding includes $57.2 million for 570 new Border Patrol Agents.

The funding increases will support technologies that keep out potential terrorists:

  • $380 million for the development of Entry Exit information technology for tracking foreigners entering the country and infrastructure upgrades  
  • $45 million for Non-intrusive Inspection Systems including Rail Vehicle and Container Inspection Systems, portal radiation detectors, tool trucks, isotope identifiers, and hand-held acoustic inspection systems
  • $313 million for the Automated Commercial Environment, including funds for the International Trade Data System-ITDS

The 2003 funding includes $10 million to help fund immigration enforcement needs, including additional staff to investigate and reduce the backlog of more than 300,000 alien fugitives who have been ordered removed or deported from the United States but have failed to comply with the deportation.

The 2003 funding includes $36 million to upgrade and strengthen border infrastructure to make it more difficult to cross illegally.

The 2003 funding will support the Container Security Initiative (CSI) launched last year that establishes tough new international security standards for high-risk cargo containers before they arrive at U.S. ports.  Currently, there are agreements with the top ports in the world to screen sea containers destined for our shores.  Nearly 100 foreign-port-deployed customs officers are being hired and trained over the next year and a half to work with their foreign counterparts to use automated targeting techniques to identify and inspect potential high-risk shipments before they are placed on vessels destined for the United States.

Coast Guard

The 2003 funding includes the largest increase for Coast Guard operating expenses since World War II.  These new dollars will fund the hiring of 2,200 active-duty men and women, including 160 Sea Marshals for armed escort of high-interest vessels.  The increase includes funding for enhanced Coast Guard presence and response, including support for 44 port security response boats, six Maritime Safety and Security Teams, and increased armed boardings, escorts and patrols.  Funding in 2003 will also support the Coast Guard's Deepwater system that will help push our maritime borders farther out to sea.

Science and Technology

The Department's Science & Technology Directorate assumed programmatic responsibility of homeland security programs transferred from the Departments of Defense ($420 million), Energy ($117 million) and Agriculture ($16 million). These resources will be applied to the highest priority requirements for protecting the nation against terrorist attacks.  These include:

  • Establishing a technology clearinghouse to engage the private sector in rapid prototyping of homeland security technologies through a partnership with the Technical Support Working Group.
  • Significantly enhancing the nation's radiological measures to counter terrorism.
  • Accelerating the deployment of biological and chemical tools and technologies.
  • Working with federal, state, and local organizations to develop standards for first responder technologies.
  • Providing the scientific basis to anticipate emerging threats and protect critical infrastructure.

State and Local Funding

The First Responder Initiative in 2003 is intended to help state and local governments assess their needs and apply for resources directly related to responding to terrorist incidents. While the bill passed by the Congress does not fully support the kind of broad, needs-based grant program requested by the President, the Department has made it a top priority to quickly get the money to states and localities. Part of this funding includes $745 million to help fund local first responders through the Firefighters Grant Program.

There is a much-needed $25 million for interoperability improvements, so that first responders of all types, including fire fighters, police, and emergency medical technicians, can literally communicate on the same frequencies.

$25 million will help states and localities modernize their emergency operations centers, and $20 million is allocated for CERT, the Community Emergency Response Training Program.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

The 2003 funding includes $149 million for a new Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund, allocated to programs that prevent risks to life and property from natural or man-made disasters.  Another $60 million will support the Department's Urban Search and Rescue Team, including special training for weapons of mass destruction attacks.